Why are people fleeing Ukraine?
People are fleeing Ukraine because of Russian aggression. On February 24th 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Throughout their invasion, Russia has bombed civilian infastructure such as memorials, churchs, hospitals, nursieries, schools and apartments. The fear of these bombings have caused many to flee Ukraine, people also fled in fear of what might
happen if Russia gained control of the area they live. Not everyone has fled though, on February 24th the Ukrainian Government enacted martial law and declared that all able bodied men from 18-60 must stay in Ukraine. However, many other people have also stayed, deciding to defend their country, not wanting to leave their homes or not being able to leave due to financial reasons
What countries are Ukrainians fleeing to?
The majority of Ukrainians are fleeing to Poland. According to the BBC, as of 03/03/2022, 505,582 refugees fled to Poland, however it is likely that more refugees have fled to Poland but were not included on official counts.
“The UN says that as of March 13th:
- Poland had taken in 1,720,227 refugees
- Hungary 255,291
- Slovakia 204,862
- Moldova 106,994
- Romania 84,671 (as at 8 March)
- Russia 131,365
- Belarus 1,226
Almost 304,000 people have moved on from these countries to others in Europe.”- BBC World News.
Many of the 304,000 refugees who have moved on from these countries have moved to places like France, Romania and Germany. Some refugees who have fled to Moldova have decided to continue and flee to Romania. This is due to the fear that Russia will try to annex Moldova as well as Ukraine because Moldova is not part of Nato.
How Are Refugees Fleeing Ukraine?
Most refugees are fleeing Ukraine by train or by walking/driving to the border. Trains operating in large cities such as Kyiv and Kherson are transporting people to the Ukrainian border so they can seek safety in other countries.
How many people have been displaced by the war?
“In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries.”-Filippo Grandi
According to the U.N.’s top refugee oficial, Filippo Grandi, as of 03/02/2022, over 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine. Many people have been displaced internally as well. The UN reports that 1.85 Ukrainians have been displaced internally. The UN believes that this number may rise up to 12 million people displaced internally.
What Happens to Refugees after they flee Ukraine?
After refugees flee Ukraine and cross into bordering countries such as Poland, they usually stay with friends or family or they go to reception shelters. In Poland, reception centers like the one above have been set up to care for refugees. At reception shelters refugees are given medical care as well as food and water. Poland has also set up a “medical train” to transport ill and wounded refugees to hospitals. Other countries are helping refugees too, countries such as Hungary and Romania are giving refugees cash so they can buy clothing and food. They are also allowing child refugees to go to local schools and continue their education.
Poland and Slovakia have recently asked the EU to help in providing them supplies for refugees. In response, Germany and Greece have sent tents, blankets and masks to Slovakia. Meanwhile, France is sending medication and medical supplies to Poland.
Effects on civilians in Ukraine?
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had many effects on civilians remaining in Ukraine. According to OCHA as of 03-07-2022, so far there have been 1,207 civilian casualties including 406 civilians killed. Ocha followed this up by saying “The actual number of civilian casualties is likely to be much higher as civilian deaths and injuries continue to be verified.” Those that remain in Ukraine are having issues with access to utilities like electricity and water. “The Ministry of Energy reports that around 650,000 people have been left without electricity and at least 130,000 people remain without natural gas supply in the east, north and south amid ongoing hostilities. Service repair teams require secure “windows of silence” as the rapidly deteriorating security situation prevents them from restoring critical services, including electricity, gas and water.’”-OCHA. The humanitarian crisis is made worse by the lack of aid to those in Ukraine. The ongoing war has made it difficult for aid workers to help civilians. Aid workers have only been able to help those in Western Ukraine so far, as it is too dangerous to go to some places.